FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Nashville, Tenn., April 25, 2018—Late yesterday afternoon, the Tennessee General Assembly completed the final step in passing a bill to allow in-home beauty services across Tennessee. State Senator Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, State Representative Sam Whitson, R-Franklin, and State Representative Jason Powell, D-Nashville, were the primary sponsors of the bill. Once signed by Governor Haslam, the reform will allow Tennesseans to purchase beauty services in the privacy of their own homes and businesses.
The bill follows The Tennessee Board of Cosmetology and Barber Examiners’s 2016 decision to issue a cease-and-desist letter and file a formal complaint against Belle—a popular Nashville-based technology company that provides on-demand health and beauty services—for bringing “highly disturbing” competition into Tennessee’s beauty industry. The Board initially alleged that Belle was violating the state’s cosmetology laws, but withdrew its complaint after Belle formally contested the Board’s allegations. The Board’s decision to withdraw its complaint was covered widely in local, state, and national media, including Forbes, Yahoo, Reason, the Nashville Business Journal, the Memphis Commercial Appeal, and the Daily Signal, among others.
“With the passing of this bill, Tennesseans will now have the right to enjoy concierge cosmetology services just like many other Americans,” said Armand Lauzon, CEO of Belle. “Beyond that, it grants tens of thousands of cosmetologists access to the American dream by legalizing entrepreneurship in the industry. The General Assembly should be very proud of this needed reform.”
“Passage of this bill represents another step in our state to remove barriers that interfere with Tennesseans achieving the American Dream,” added Senator Dickerson.
The reform passed unanimously in the Tennessee State Senate, and it succeeded by a margin of 81-6 in the Tennessee House. Along with the bill’s sponsors, Tennessee House Speaker Beth Harwell, R-Nashville, was instrumental in its passage. “I was proud to support this legislation repealing a burdensome regulation. Entrepreneurs across the state will now be able to provide convenient services to Tennesseans, and create prosperity for themselves and their families,” said Speaker Harwell.
“In 2016, the Tennessee Board of Cosmetology unlawfully attempted to shut down one of Nashville’s most exciting new tech companies for the sole purpose of protecting an outdated industry competitor from competition,” said Daniel Horwitz, Belle’s attorney and lobbyist. “This important reform ensures that the Board of Cosmetology will be prevented from engaging in such lawless behavior ever again.”
Selected Case Documents:
Selected Media Coverage:
-Nashville Business Journal: Regulators withdraw complaint against Nashville-based startups
-The Federalist Society: Regulatory Hurdles for Entrepreneurs: The Story of Project Belle